British Columbia History

BC Historical News Nov 30, 1971

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Vol. 5 No. 1
November, 1971
Published November, February, April and June each year by the
British Columbia Historical Association, and distributed free to
members of all affiliated societies by the secretaries of their
respective societies. Subscription rate to non-members: $3.50 per
year, including postage, directly from the editor, Mr P.A. Yandle,
3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, 8, B.C.
Hon. Patron:
Hon. President:
Past President:
1st Vice-President:
2nd Vice-President:
Sec. &  Editor:
Executive members:
Lieut.Gov. J.R. Nicholson
Dr Margaret Ormsby
Mr H.R. Brammall
Mrs Mabel E. Jordon
Mr G.T. German
Mrs J. Roff .
Mr P.A. Yandle
Mr F. Street
Mr F. Street
Mr H.B. Nash
Society Notes & Comments
In Memoriam: G.E. Bowes
B.C. Books of Interest
Book Reviews:
Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast
Schools of Old Vancouver
Errington, Vancouver Island
War and Patriotism: the Lusitania Riot,
by C. Humphries
FRONT COVER Ma Murray, drawn by Vancouver member Robert Genn. EDITORIAL
This is the time of year when every member society starts to
wonder what the membership will be this season. It is as valid for a
historical society to make membership recruitment a regular part of its
function for every month of every year, as it is to hold meetings,
restore old buildings, give tours or publish books and pamphlets. For
some reason, people feel they have to be asked to join any private group,
no matter how public its programme. A membership recruitment programme
is really nothing more than asking interested persons to join. The
moment your society stops asking, it becomes a closed corporation.
A historical society with a zeal to foster its programmes and to
promote a knowledge of history has a responsibility to the public it
serves. That responsibility embraces the obligation to make an effort
to invite the interested to join. The aura of exclusiveness, whether
intended or not, produeces the rejoinder from a person just invited into
membership t'But I didn't realize I could become a member" or "Noone
ever asked mt to join before".
Don't panic if as many as ten per cent of. your newly recruited
members fail to renew the second year. It- is inevitable that undue
recruiting pressure on the part of-friends, a lack of knowledge, or
other causes will prompt yearling members to withdraw. Members cannot
be expected to be responsive; supportive, working, donating and even
bequeathing members, unless they are fully informed. They need a
fully informative newsletter of all.that has been done, and any projected plans for the future. It is not enough to mail out annually
a tactfully worded dues notice - a tiny scrap of paper, so lonesome in
its seven cents envelope!
It behooves more of our local historical societies to emulate,
in our ardour for new members, that backwoods bachelor doctor who, a
local newspaper reported "is in Vancouver this week, oscillating,
interrogating, masticating, meditating, investigating, supplicating,
irrigating and explicating, and if he is successful may bring her home
with him". The doctor was successful, and so may we be if our efforts
are vigorous and sustained.
Minutes of the second Council Meeting of 1971-72 season of the
B.C. Historical Association, held November l4th 1971 in Port Alberni.
Present: Mr H.R. Brammall, Pres.; Mr G. German, 1st Vice-Pres.; Mrs
J. Roff, 2nd Vice-Pres.; Mrs P. Brammall, Treas.; Mr P.A. Yandle, Sec;
Mr H.B. Nash, Exec, member; Mr K. Leeming, Victoria; Mrs P.A. Yandle,
Vancouver; Mrs K. Adams and Mrs Helen Ford, Alberni.
Meeting was called to order by the President at 1.00 p.m. Moved
Leeming, seconded P. Brammall that the minutes of the last Council
meeting be adopted as circulated - Carried. Arising from the minutes the Secretary reported that the instructions
of the Council had been carried out regarding the request made by Mr R.
Dangelmaier for the Association to sponsor an application for an assistance grant from the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation. The President,
Treasurer and Secretary had visited Mr Dangelmaier to see what sketches
he had made and had also asked Mr Harold Kalman of the Fine Arts Department at the University of B.C. to make an independent appraisal. The
application had been made, but as it is now necessary for every sponsoring agency to have a tax exemption number issued by the Federal Government for income tax purposes, our Association did not have one and for
this reason the application could not be considered by the Foundation.
The President now has the forms and will make the representation to
Ottawa on behalf of the Association. This would mean that Mr Dangelmaier's
request could be resubmitted in the spring.
Mr Leeming asked what would be the eventual disposition of Mr
Dangelmaier's drawings. Neither the President nor the Secretary could
give any positive answer, but both felt they should either be published
or become the property of some museum. It was the opinion of Council
that this matter should be resolved before Mr Dangelmaier's request be
resubmitted. Moved Leeming, seconded P. Brammall that the Secretary
write to Mr Dangelmaier and ascertain what he plans to do with his
drawings and report to the next Council meeting. - Carried.
Membership Committee Mr German reported that there are many historical
and museum societies throughout the province who should be made aware
of the B.C. Historical Association's aims and objectives and the benefits
of affiliation. The President was instructed to prepare a small booklet
that could be mimeographed. Council felt that it would have more appeal
than a circular letter.
Convention Site Committee Mrs P. Brammall reported that Vancouver had
been asked to host the 1973 convention and that the Executive of the
Vancouver Historical Society had approved in principle, but wished to
take the. matter to a membership meeting. There was an offer from East
Kootenay for 1975 and Burnaby possibly in 1976.
The Council regretted the sudden passing of Gordon Bowes this
past summer and have plans" for a memorial tribute to perpetuate the
memory of his loyalty and service to the Association. Moved German,
seconded Mrs Roff, that the Association proceed with plans for a
memorial tribute. - Carried.
The Secretary read a letter from Mr Barley Hatfield regarding
the preservation of the old Brigade Trail in the Tulameen area, (This
letter appears elsewhere in this issue. Ed.) Moved Leeming, seconded
Mrs Adams, that the Council instruct the Secretary .'to write to the two
Provincial Ministers concerned. - Carried.
Convention 1972, May 25th to 27th, 1972, Port Alberni  From the discussion it was the unanimous opinion of Council that the Convention
must pay its way. The major problem with all conventions has been the
uncertainty of how many will be attending. To assist final arrangements
it was the unanimous opinion of Council that a discount would be offered to pre-registrants to help overcome this problem. Tentative Programme Convention Centre - Echo Centre, Port Alberni.
Dogwood Room Thursday evening - Registration and Wine and Cheese Party.
Friday morning, 9.00 a.m. Registration and Council meeting.. 10.00 - noon
annual general meeting - Dogwood Room. 12.30 Luncheon Cedar Room.
Friday afternoon Bus trip to working logging camp in the Sproat Lake
area. Friday evening 8.00 p.m. President's Address, and Margaret Trebett
"Sons of the Pioneers". Saturday All day trip by M,V, Lady Rose to
Bamfield and way points with speakers on points of interest. 7.00 p.m.
Banquet. Guest speaker.  (New Council will meet prior to the banquet.)
Moved German, seconded Leeming, that meeting adjourn at 4,00 p.m. -
CRESTON & DISTRICT The Society has several projects in progress, including
the historical significance of the oldest building in Creston, St. Peter's
Mission. Church and the Dewdney Trail. Paramount is the completion and
finishing of-the archives room, so that collecting, compiling, Cataloguing
and storing of material of historic interest may be carried out.
GULF ISLANDS The. annual picnic was held at Montague Park, Galiano, on
August 24th. Mr Donald New, the President, read to members the notes of
a visit, to Galiano made by the late Max Enke, and presented to the
Society by his daughter Ruth. Mr Enke had recorded changes of tenure
in properties known to him since the earliest days of settlement on the
island. Houses, barns, names of residents new and old were made vivid
to the group by Mr New's additional commentary.
EAST KOOTENAY A hundred and thirty-two people attended the annual dinner
of the Association in June, at which Sergeant A. Beach of the Cranbrook
detachment of the R.CM.P, outlined theFenian raids across the border,
the Riel Rebellion and other violent, events leading up to the formation
of the  Royal Canadian North West Mounted Police. Sergeant Beach also
touched on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the
arrival in Canada of Sitting Bull, both events whose consequences the
R.C.N.W.M.P. had the major role in controlling. The first three names
on the role of the R.C.N.W.M.P, were A.H. Grelsbeck, Percy Neil and Sam
B. Steele. Appropriately the Associations dinner was held in the tea
room at Fort Steele, the site of the first R.C.N.W.M.P. detachment west
of the Rockies, established by Sam Steele and his men.
A highlight of the dinner was the presentation to Mrs Mabel Jordon,
afcharter member of the East Kootenay Historical Asspciation and Past-
President of the B.C. Historical Association, of a set "of bookends made
of pre-Cambrian rock. The bookends were, made by Dan MacDonald and are
exact replicas of those presented to Queeri Elizabeth on her recent visit.
WEST KOOTENAY Due to inclement weather in June the Society's annual
field trip,to some of the old Ymir mines-, -Was postponed until October.
In a 4-wheel drive vehicle and with Mr George Murray as personal guide,
the group climbed up the eyebrow-like trail across the face of a
mountain, passing derelict remains of workings, some dating back to 1885.
Higher still in another direction they came to the site of another mine and .from that elevation, about 4000 ft they could see the roofs of Ymir
and the mountainsides ablaze with fall colours.
At their regular October meeting Mr Craig Andrews of the History
Department, Selkirk College, gave an address on The Study of History
using Archives. His Department had recently fallen heir to a lot of
discarded municipal records and he related how his young pupils, under
an Opportunities for Youth programme, went about creating order out of
chaos, with all aspects of the subject being properly indexed,
NANAIMO The speaker at the September meeting was Sister Mary Luca, on
the subject of St. Ann's Academy and Nanaimo. Sister Mary Luca, a member
of the Order for over 40 years, is now co-prdinator at St. Ann's Academy,
Victoria„ She has taught junior high school classes in the Order's schools
at various places in B.C. and in Port Angeles, Her address covered the
history of the Convent in Nanaimo from 1866 when two Sisters came up from
Victoria to assess the need for their services in Nanaimo, to the date in
1968 when the convent building was razed.
In I867 the Sisters opened a day school in the rectory which had
been turned over to them by Father Lemmens. In 1879 a three-storey convent building was erected with the help of donations from many sources,
including $300 from the citizens of Nanaimo and over $500 from a bazaar
conducted by the Sisters. In 1906 a new wing was added to the convent to
accommodate a growing number of pupils, but in 1910 fire completely destroyed the. building. At this time the Sisters had 45 orphans in their
care, transferred to them from the convent near Duncan. The Sisters and
these children found a temporary home in Ladysmith. The next year a new
convent, built on the site of the old one, was ready for occupation, and
the Sisters took up their work in Nanaimo once more. Only elementary school
education was offered at this time.
In 1935 the school expanded to offer a complete three-year commercial
course. A few years later a business college, which served adults was
added. In 1955 another fire caused damage to all .three floors of the convent, and in 1966 the decision was made to close the convent school.
The Sisters served the community at large when there was a smallpox
epidemic in 1885 and again in the 1891 mine disaster, on both occasions
going out to homes to act as nurses trtiere necessary. The community supported the convent with an auxiliary to St. Ann's, formed in 1919, an
auxiliary composed of both men and women. It raised funds through the
years for equipment needed to keep the classroom teaching up to date.
The October meeting of the Nanaimo Historical Society was held in
Malaspina College and consisted of a tour of the college, including descriptions of the courses taught and demonstration of modern teaching aids
now used.
The November meeting was a talk on the history of Ladysmith by
John Gourlay, Esq.
VANCOUVER Attendances at meetings this fall h? vebeen good, and so far
29 new members have joined. The proposal to have some of the Society's
publications for sale at the general meetings has already proved to be
very satisfactory and will be continued. The speaker in September, Mr Cyril Leonoff from the newly formed
Jewish Historical Society, spoke on the part played by Jewish pioneers in
the growth of Victoria and Vancouver. In October Mrs Sheila Roberts
addressed the Society on 'Theatre in Vancouver', relating many human interest
stories and showing that Vancouver has always been an entertainment town,
playing host to many 'big names' down through the years.
Plans have been made by Mr John Raybould for all interested members
to go on a walking tour in downtown Vancouver on November 21st, If successful, more walks will be planned and it is hoped, in the future, guided
tours for tourists may become an attraction. The starting point will be
the new Pacific Centre. -
VICTORIA Miss Inez Mitchell, who recently retired from her position of
Assistant Provincial Archivist, was honoured by the Victoria Branch at
their June meeting. Mr Ken Leeming, President of the Branch, presented
Miss Mitchell with an honorary life membership in recognition of her unfailing help to the Association over many years. Following this, Miss
Marjorie Holmes, on behalf of her fellow members, presented Miss Mitchell
with a silver rose bowl, handmade by a Victoria silversmith. At this
same meeting the speaker was Mr Daniel T. Gallacher, Curator of History
at the Provincial Museum, who outlined the rationale which has guided the
■planning of the Museum's history display.
In the summer an outing was made to Point Ellice House, the house
of the Honorable Peter O'Reilly, which is occupied today by his grandson
John. The building has been fully restored by Mr & Mrs John O'Reilly and
no other house in Victoria has been so long occupied by one family..
At the September meeting the speaker was Mr N.L. (Bill) Barlee,
publisher of Canada West Magazine. His address on "Ghost Towns in the
Southern Interior" was enhanced by a showing on the screen of photographs
of old mining camps in the interior, some taken at the turn of the century.
In October the Society assembled in the Newcombe Auditorium to hear an
address by Professor S.W. Jackman, Acting Head of the Department of History,
University of Victoria. He spoke on the subject "Popular History In
Canada and British Columbia."
The Victoria Branch is selling, a recently published book by
Elizabeth Forbes, entitled "Wild Roses at y6ur Feet (Pioneer Women of
Vancouver Island)" for $3.50 plus tax.
In a letter from Erica Johnson (West Kootenay) she states " ,.
holidaying at Fairmont in the East Kootenay, I was invited to go with an
acquaintance to a meeting of the Windermere District Historical Society,
at Invermere........ In 1964 or 1965 they started off with a tiny little
log cabin for their museum (and presumably meeting-place), and now have
acquired a mueh larger log building from the local Legion (who were rebuilding) and this will become the Historical Museum. The two buildings
are side by side and the little building will be converted into a pioneer
cottage. They are passing round the hat for donations. Well worth a visit
next year if you feel like turning off Highway 93 at junction to Invermere.. John Raybould (Vancouver Historical Society) has an eye for spotting
noteworthy items from our B.C. papers. From the "Prince George Citizen:
"It's almost a case of now or never when it comes to recording Prince
George's early history. That's the reason behind the University Women's
Club current project to tape the voices of area pioneers. The memories of
people like 83-year old Arthur Fisk, who came here in 1912, add color
to information found in Rev. F.E. Runnalls' A History of Prince George."
Mr Fisk, among other recollections recalls that "once a flat-bottomed
scow had floated its goods from Tete Jaune Cache (to Prince George) it
was sold for lumber. The crews would then have to walk back from Prince
George." Mr Fisk tells how his house was built from scow lumber. Public
response to a programme for taping supplied 75 pioneer names, In time to
come the taped interviews will be invaluable.
From the Port Alberni Valley Times: "Was the second Maquinna of
Nootka buried at Sproat Lake? What relation was he to the Maquinna. the
great chief of the era of the Spanish occupation of Friendly Cove, and of
the Nootka Convention which saw Vancouver Island turned over to the
British? These are questions raised by a find made recently at Eagle
Point on Sproat Lake. Uncovered close to the surface while a well was
being dug at the summer home of Mr and Mrs Gerhardt Schramm was a rock
with a copper plaque on which are inscribed the words 'Chief Maquinna the
Second, 1819-1876."
The Champlain Society is now able to accept a few applications for
membership. For those who may be interested, the annual fee is $15.00
and application in writing should be made to Mrs E. Cook, Executive
Secretary-Treasurer, The Champlain Society, Room 223, 200 Bay Street,
Toronto, Ontario.
This letter was sent to me by Mr Harley Hatfield (referred to in
Council minutes) and is self explanatory.
"..,... Presently the Parks Branch of the Department of Recreation and
Conservation and the Forest Service of the Department of Lands, Forests
and Water Resources have under consideration the preservation of that
section of the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail between Peers Creek, east of
"Hope, and Lodestone Lake, west of Tulameen. The-Ministers concerned
are the Honourable Kenneth Kiernan and. the Honourable Ray Williston.
This could well be the time of decision regarding this Trail and
your support is needed. If you feel that the Trail is worth saving
would you write in to the Ministers and tell them so please.
The Brigade Trail runs from Fort Hope to Manson Camp on Peers
Creek, over Manson Ridge, up the Sowaqua valley and across and up to
Campement du Chevreuil near the summit of the Cascades, from there over
the summit and down Podunk Creek to Horse Guards Camp at the Tulameen
River, then up to the Tulameen plateau and by the ancient Indian trail
(Blackeye's Trail) to Lodestone Lake and down Jackson Mountain to Campement des Femmes (now Tulameen). From there it went via Nicola Lake to
Fort Kamloops.
. It preceded the Cariboo Road and the Dewdney Trail by ten to twelve
years and from 1849 to about l86l was the only route of commerce between
;the Coast and all the Interior country from Fort St. James to Fort
Colvile. The annual Brigades would have as many as three hundred or more 8
horses. The Indian, Blackeye.and Edouard Montigny helped Henry Peers in
its location in 1848-'49. Only once before had a white man crossed the
mountains to the Similkameen country; A.C Anderson in l846.
In 1855 Paul Fraser, the Chief Trader in charge of Fort Kamloops
was killed by a falling tree and buried at Campement du Chevreuil. In
1859 Lieut. H. Spencer Palmer of the Royal Engineers travelled the Trail,
in company with a Hudson's Bay party under Angus McDonald of Fort Colvile,
and made a report on it complete with map. Also travelling with this
party, but on foot, were Judge Begbie and his staff of Bushby and O'Reilly
on their first trip to Kamloops. A small gem of a lake by the Cascade
summit is being named Palmer's Pond and three adjacent creeks, tributaries
of the Sowaqua, are being named Matthew O'Reilly and Bushby Creeks. In
some places the Trail is much as it was a hundred and twenty years ago,
only grass is growing in the depression made by so many hooves and the
blazes are healed into dark ridges on the big old treesi
. Between the Tulameen Plateau and Peers Creek is wilderness and
during exploring trips over this section for five years a group of us have
seen no other humans, ro domestic animals, no garbage for Hie eight or nine
days of each trip. It is a thrilling hiking trail. This year we took-
five other men and twenty Venturers (older Boy Scouts) over it and I'm
sure that every one would like to go again. It is proposed that only foot
and horse traffic be allowed to use the Trail.. Fortunately a number of
hills are in any case too steep for anything else.
Going from the coastal forest to alpine summits to interior
valleys and plateaus it covers a large range of plants. The primeval
forest and the alpine flowers are magnificent. Small trout are to be had
in two places and luscious berries in several. All along the streams and
lakes are clean and crystal clear.
We are not suggesting any improvements save essential trail clearing and marking and even this can wait and is very much secondary to preservation of the Trail. Along Peers Creek much of it has already been
destroyed by logging, and perhaps this was inevitable, but from the edge
of the present logged area, over Manson Ridge and on to Lodestone we are
begging that it may be safeguarded. (A note of warning - the Trail is not
yet marked well enough for any but a most experienced woodsman to attempt
it without a guide.)
May we have your help; and that of any friends who you think would
be interested'?
The original group exploring the Trail has been Mr Eric Jacobson,
Box 398 Princeton, B.C.; Mr Jack Scrivener, 1034 Johnson St. Victoria, B.C.;
Mr Harvie Walker, 3174. Tenth Ave. West, Vancouver, B.C.; Dr Hugh Barr,
38-3 Ellis St., Penticton, B.C., and myself.
Yours very truly,
687 Vancouver Ave,, Penticton, B.C.
Why.not. you, dear reader, also write to the ministers? When it's
gone, it will be gone for ever.
The summer months were saddened for many people around British Columbia
by the tragic and untimely death of Gordon Bowes on July 23rd while driving
to the family's summer cottage at Cultus Lake. Well-known in local business
and historical circles, Gordon's loss leaves a big gap that will not be easily filled. On behalf of all members of the B.C. Historical Association and its affiliated societies, we extend our deepest sympathies to
Stephanie, Ned and Gregory.
A native son, Gordon was born in Victoria. He was educated there
at the Boys' Central School, at Victoria College and the University of
British Columbia. After service overseas between 1941 and 1945 in the
Canadian Army, he joined the B.C. Electric Company in Vancouver. During
his business career with the.B.C. Electric and later B.C. Hydro, he held
various positions in the field of research and industrial development,
and latterly guided with great verve and success Hydro's industrial land
programme in the Lower Mainland, At the time of his death, he was manager
of the Authority's Industrial Development Department.
Gordon held many offices in the Vancouver Historical Society and B.C.
Historical Association. A keen and active amateur historian, he compiled
and edited a well-reviewed book "Peace River Chronicles" which was published
in 1963. Containing eighty-one eye-witness accounts of the Peace River
country from the time of Sir Alexander Mackenzie to the present, and
covering the history of explorers and settlers in the area, the book has
already established for itself a firm niche in many British Columbia
libraries and bibliographies. It is required reading on the history of
a colourful part of the province.
Gordon Bowes * personal collection of books on British Columbia - fact
and fiction - is well-known for its comprehensiveness. It is in itself
a testimony to his scholarly and painstaking thoroughness in researching
all he could about his chosen subject. It .is most fitting that the Vancouver Historical Society at its .executive meeting on August 19th decided
that copies of all future publications of the Society will be donated to
the Northwest History Collection in the Vancouver Public Library as a
lasting memorial to Gordon Bowes, a strong supporter of the Society's
publishing programme.
Gordon Bowes' love and knowledge of .his province was unequalled and
an inspiration to all of us British Columbians, both native born and by
B.C. BOOKS OF INTEREST, compiled by Frances Woodward, Vancouver Hist.Soc.
BEAGLEHOLE, J.C. Cook the writer; the sixth George Arnold Wood Memorial
lecture delivered in the University of Sydney, 15 April 1970. Sydney,
Sydney University Press, 1970. 22pp. A$.60.
BEESON, Edith, Dunlevy; from the diaries of Alex P. McInnes. Lillooet,
Lillooet Publishers, 1971. 119 pp.,.illus. $2.50.
BERTON, Pierre. The last spike: the great railway 1881-1885. Toronto,
McClelland & Stewart, 1971.-478 pp., illus. $10.
BLOWER, James, comp. Gold rush 1894-1907, a pictorial history. Toronto,
McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1971. 199 pp. illus. $9.95.
BORRADAILE, John. "Lady of Culzean", Mayne Island. Victoria, 1971. 40 pp.,
illus. $1.75.
B.C. discovery guide. Vancouver, Standard Oil Co., 1971. 10 booklets.
illus., $.40 each.
BROWN, Annora. Old man's garden. Sidney, Gray's Pub., 1970. 268 pp.,
illus. $5.50. 10
BROWN, J. ed. Centennial year Mayne Island Fall Fair, Sat. August 14,
1971. 36 pp. illus. $2.
CANADA. NATIONAL GALLERY. Paul Kane, 1810-1871; an exhibition. Ottawa,,
1971. 48 pp. illus.
CANADA. PUBLIC ARCHIVES. British Columbia '71, Canada on the Pacific.
Ottawa, 1971. 37 pp. illus.
B.C.: street names A-Z. Prince George, 1970. 50 pp. illus. $2.50.
CONOVER, David. One man's island. Toronto, General Publishing, 1971. ■
181 pp. illus. $6.95.
COCHRAN, Lutrie ulrich. The wilderness told me. Quesnel, Spartan Printing,
1971. 151 PP. illus. $5.95.
DAHL, Ervin. Gateway to the interior: A brief history :of Hope. Chilliwack,
1971. 65 pp. illus. $2.
EMMONS, George Thornton. The art of the northwest coast Indians. Victoria,
Haunted Bookshop, 1971. 11 PP« illus. Reprint.
FLORIN, Lambert. Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia ghost towns.
Seattle, Superior Pub. 1971. 72 pp. illus. $2.95.
FOX, Margaret and Angela McKeown. Cha-Hai (Horseshoe Bay) a look at. the
pastt Vancouver, Gleneagles School Parent Teachers Assoc, 1971, 48 pp.
illus. $1.50.
RREEMASONS, Grand Lodge of B.C. A.F. & A.M. History of the Grand Lodge of
British Columbia 1871-1970. Victoria, 1971. 643 pp. illus., $7.50
GIBBS, Jim. Disaster log of ships. Seattle, Superior Pub., 1971. 176 pp.,
illus. $12.95.
GOUGH, Barry M. The Royal Navy and the northwest.coastof North America,
1810-1914, a study of British maritime ascendency. Vancouver, UBC Press,
1971. 294 pp. illus. $12.00.
GRAHAM, Clara. Kootenay mosaic, n.p,, 1971. 112 pp. illus. $5.95. .
Pacific. London, HMSO, 1970.' 32 pp. illus. 4s.
HANNON, Leslie F. The disco verers: an illustrated history. Toronto/Montreal,
McClelland & Stewart, 1971. 256 pp. illus. $16.95.
HILLAN, William. Blackwater River Toa-Thal-Kas. Toronto, McClelland & Stewart,
1971. 169 PP.: illus. $6.95.
HUCULAK, Mykhaylo. When Russia was in America, Vancouver, Mitchell Press,
1971. 149 Pp.
HUNGRY WOLF, Adolf. Good medicine: life in harmony with nature. Golden,
B.C., Good Medicine Books, 1970. 36 pp. illus, $1.50.
HUTCHINSON, Bill &..Julie. Rockhounding & beachcombing on Vancouver Island,
Victoria," Tom"&~£edr"gi'e' Vauikhard, 1971. 56 ppv illus, $2,75. ' —'-•'■
JUPP, Ursula, ed. Deep sea stories from the Thermopylae Club. Victoria,
Ursula Jupp, 1971. 164 pp. illus. $6.50.
KANE, Paul. Paul Kane'sketch pad. Toronto, Musson, 1969. unpaged, illus. $9.95-;
KANE, Paul,, Paul Kane's frontier, including'Wanderings of an artist among
the Indians of North America.., Toronto, University of" Toronto, 1971.
350 pp. illus. $27.50. ' . '
LAMB, W. Kaye, Canada's five centuries. Toronto, McGraw-Hill Ryerson,
1971. 326 pp., illus. $19.95.
LUXTON, Norman Kenny. Luxton's Pacific crossing: Tilikum'; being the journal
of Norman Kenny Luxton, mate of the Tilikum, May 20, 1901, Victoria, B.C.
to October 18, 1901, Suva, Fiji... Sidney, Gray's Pub. 1971. 157 PP- $7.50.
MacDONALD, Dougald. Hiking near Vancouver: twenty scenic alpine-trails to
explore in B.C.'s Lower Mainland. Vancouver, Mitchell, 1971. 103' Pp. $3•95»
MACKIE, B. Allan.. Building with logs. Prince George, 1971', 38 pp. illus. $5.00. 11
MARKS, William. I saw Ogopogo. Summerland, 1971. 48 pp. illus. $.69.
MARSH, John. Glacier National Park; a guide for mountain pilgrims. Peterborough, Canadian Recreation Services, 1971- 70 pp. illu's. $2.
MARSH, John. Glacier National Park, an initial bibliography, Peterborough,
Canadian Recreation Services, 1971. 21 pp. $1.
MORICE, A.G. The history of the northern interior of British Columbia,
Fairfield, Wash., Ye Galleon Press, 1971. 368 pp. illus. $12, Reprint.
NEAVE, Roland, ed. Hiking the high points. Kamloops', Kamloops Outdoor
Club, 1971. 65 pp., illus. $1.75-
PURVIS, Ron. Treasure hunting in British Columbia, Toronto, Montreal,
McClelland & Stewart, 1971. 143 pp. illus.. $7.95.
RAMSEY, Bruce. Rain people: the story of Ocean Falls,-British Columbia.
Ocean-Falls, Centennial '71 Committee, 1971 .'.233- pp. illus. $3.50.
ROBERTS, Sheila. Shakespeare in Vancouver 1869-1918. Vancouver, Vancouver:
Historical Society, 1971. 31 PP. illus. $3; $4.50.
SANDISON, James, ed. Schools of old. Vancouver. Vancouver, Vancouver Historical Society, 1971. 64 pp. illus. $2.'50; $4.00.
SHAW, John, ed. A century of adventure, 1871-1971. Victoria, Daily
Colonist, 1971. 126 pp. $1.00.
SIERRA CLUB OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, West Coast National Park life-saving
trail - a plea for wider boundaries. West Vancouver, 1971. 35 PP. illus,.  $2,.
SKAGIT VALLEY STUDY GROUP. The future of Skagit Valley; Vancouver", Institute
of Resource Ecology, U.B.C, 1971. 187 pp. illus.
SKITH, James K. David Thompson fur trader, explorer, geographer. Toronto,
Oxford University Press. 1971, 128 pp. illus. $3.50.
and present, Victoria, 1971. 68 pp. $1.90.
STOKES, S.C.W. Errington, Vancouver Island, B.C. Victoria, 1971. 128 pp..,
illus. $2.50.
SUNSHINE COAST WHEREABOUTS. Vancouver, Xylon Publications, 1971. 48 pp.
illus. $.75.
SYDNEY DAILY TELEGRAPH. Captain Cook, his artists, his voyages; the Sydney
Daily Telegraph portfolio of original works by artists who sailed with Capt,
Cook. Sydney, Australian Consolidated Press, 1970* 64 pp. ilius. $4.65.
THOMPSON, David. David Thompson: travels in western ;North America, 1784-
1812; ed. by Victor G. Hopwood. Toronto, Macmillan, 1971. 356 pp. illus. $10-95
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY. Emily Carr; a centennial exhibition,., Vancouver, 1971.
96 pp. illus, $5,
VAUGHAN, Thomas, Paul Kane, the Columbia wanderer 1.846-47; sketches and
paintings of the Indians and his lecture, "The Chinooks". Portland,
Oregon Historical Society, 1971. 67 pp.- illus. $1,65.
WALBRAN, John T. British Columbia coast names.--Introduction by G.P.V. Akrigg,
Vancouver, The Library's Press, 1971. 546 pp, illus,, $12.50, Reprint..
WATSON, George & Robert Skrill. Western Canadian bottle collecting.
Nanaimo, Hume Compton, 1971. 71 PP=> illus, $3.50.
WELLS, Oliver N. Myths and legends Staw-lon Indians of south western B.C..
compiled & illustrated by the late Oliver N. Wells. Sardis, 1970* 42 pp,
illus., $4.
WOODCOCK, tngeborg & George. Victoria. Victoria, Morriss, 1971. unpaged,
illus., $7.50.
WORK, John. The Snake country expedition of 1830-31: John 'Work's field
journal; ed. by Francis D. Haines. Norman, University of Oklahoma Presq,
1971. 172 pp., illus. $7.95. 12
M. Gough. Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 1971. 294 pp.
illus. $12.GO.
In this very readable book Dr Gough seeks to present the role of the
British Navy in the establishment and development of western Canada. His
thesis in brief is that throughout the long period of its history until the
years of achievement before the first World War on many occasions the
presence, actual or potential, of units of the Royal Navy played a fundamental role in the outcome of events. Particularly is this true of the periodic, crises in relations with the United States through these years, Dr
Gough examines in considerable detail the role of the British Navy in the
early years leading to the Oregon crisis of the middle J.840s. His detailed
study of the latter is both refreshing and stimulating with its clear statement of the naval movements and its account of the personalities involved.
In particular your reviewer was pleased to find a proper appreciation of the
role of Sir George Seymour in these events. This officer, whose papers in
the Warwickshire County Record Office invite a biographer's study, played
more than one role in mid-nineteenth century Canadian history,
Dr Gough's study examines the part played by the Navy in the long gold
rush years after 1850 when the colony of British Columbia was "actually
forced into existence through the ample supplies of gold afforded by the
country it occupies" housing an apparent immediate source of wealth but still
dependent on Britain for the "protection of her Navy, and in times of
emergency, of her troops" - the quotations are from the contemporary Secretary of State for the Colonies.
There is a nice study of the development of Esquimalt as a Naval base,
emerging, characteristically, from the de facto situation of its use in the
later 1840s, so that the exact date of the creation of a naval establishment
cannot now be determined. Esquimalt was developed after potential bases as
different as the Galapogos Islands and Panama had been rejected at least in
part because the acquisition of either would have incurred United States'
suspicion and hostility. Perhaps the most original part of the book is the
study of the role of the British Navy in the North Pacific during the Crimean
War. This theatre of seaborne operations has not previously, to my knowledge, been the subject of this kind of detailed study and, relatively small
as they were, it was thoroughly worthwhile giving an account of Bri.tish
naval operations in the North Pacific in this unfortunate war, an account
which is likely to become the standard source in the immediate future.
The book is very well illustrated, though one may deplore the economical
custom of having the half tones in blocks so that illustration and relevant
text are widely separated and the relevance of the former only accidentally
appreciated. There are seven appendices including a nice study of "Changing
Technology in British Warships 1810-1914" and a very full bibliography. The
index is adequate. The book is to be recommended as a thoroughly well presented study which should stimulate discussion amongst historians intimately
concerned with the area of study. It is very easy to read and should have
particular appeal to students of British Naval history.
Basil Greenhill.
Mr Greenhill is Director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England. 13
SCHOOLS OF OLD VANCOUVER, ed. by James Sandison, Vancouver, Vancouver_ .
Historical Society, 1971. (Occasional paper no. 2) 64 pp. illus.
$2^50 paper; $4.00 hard cover.
During the years 1907 to 1915 a periodical was published, which
'appeared under the following names, Westward Ho!, Man to Man, and the
British Columbia Magazine. It is from this source that Mr Sandison has
selected the articles for his book.
Although the first chapter does give a brief historical resume" of
the founding of the first school located near Hastings Mill, followed
later by the building of the Vancouver High School and the Normal School,
I feel that the title "Schools of Old Vancouver" is misleading. Subsequent readings include a variety of educational topics from an editorial
"On Technical Schools" to one "On The'Three R's"..
Victorians, particularly those who attended either the University
School or St. Ann's Academy will appreciate, no doubt, L. McLeod Gould's
high praise of these two excellent 'colonial institutions1.
How interesting it is to note the editorial comments of the period,
especially those discussing the philosophy of education. To \\se  the well
worn cliche - there is nothing new under the sun. Debates on the role
of the educational system in our society seem to be timeless. Should the
objective be to educate an individual to develop his own powers of thinking or should it simply attempt to equip him with practical knowledge
which he may use in a utilitarian world? One merely has to scan present
day educational journals, popular periodicals, and our daily newspapers
to find similar themes still being disputed.
Latter sections of the book refer mainly to the University of British
Columbia. The President of the University of Washington looks most
favourably upon the prospects of a new Canadian university not too far to
the north. In his remarks he stresses the mutual benefits to be gained
by "wholesome inter-university relations".
Commentaries are given which extol the wisdom of both the selection
of the site and the planning of the campus at Point Grey. Included also
is a brief biographical sketch of the first President, Dr Frank Fairchild
No doubt the booster magazine from which these articles were taken
served its purpose well, in the early 1900's. Possibly our present
population and economic growth, in part, are proof of this. Today,
however, as I read the excerpts which Mr Sandison has chosen, I find
'that they merely offer some interesting reflections on the. standard of
education in British Columbia over fifty years ago. ■
Peggy Beck.
•Miss Beck, a member of the Vancouver Historical Society, teaches in the
Vancouver school system. 14
ERRINGTON, VANCOUVER ISLAND, by S.C.W. Stokes. Victoria, 1971. 128 pp. illus.
"This book is just a beginning", the author states in the epilogue.
Errington makes an excellent beginning at "compiling the story of its community. This is what the sub-committee of the Errington 1958 Centennial Committee was commissioned to do. Thirteen years later, it has completed its
work. The delay was due to a ten-year intermission, a period in which the
chief compiler was in England.
Putting together a local history is like assembling a jig-saw puzzle -
with the difference that the puzzle has &he necessary pieces available. The
historian begins, especially on a first history of a community, well aware
"that the pieces in his possession are a small fraction of the whole. The
others are invisible and elusive. To begin at all is an act of faith.
That faith has been justified in this book. A great deal of information has been gathered. Much of it is documented - family names listed from
directories, the work of the Vancouver Island Fruit Lands Co. in its development programme for large tracts of the Island, the impressive achievements of
the Errington Development Association.
In the J.870's Alec Tranfield was working a trap-line in the game-rich
wilderness a few miles inland from the east coast of the Island - territory
hitherto known only to the natives. Background history of the natives of the
area is included in the narrative. The book chronicles the enormous changes
the decades since have wrought in the community.
The staking of the first land was in I885. The story follows the life
of the settlement from the days of felling trees with axes and digging up
stumps with spades, to the days of that awesome 'heap of horse-power', the bulldozer; from-the days of logging with axe and horses to the vast operations of
;McMillan, Blpedel and of B.C. Forest Products; from arrowed flight of geese to
vapour trails of jet aircraft; from days of travel by shanks' ponies to ease of
movement over many miles. All these developments brought resultant changes in
therlife of the people.
The coming of the mail-service, the building of the road, the arrival
of the railway - theso connecting links with neighbour communities and with
the outside world constitute milestones. The building of the. Errington War
.Memorial Hall following the First World War made great impact on the social
and cultural activities and organization of the community. Would you believe
a flourishing Drama Club in the early days and the first Drama Festival in the
area held in Errington in 1947?
The 'amateur historian' need make no apology for his subjective approach.
There is a place in the record for his kind of reporting. Grass roots history
is what has' been sadly lacking in the Canadian record. This author has added,
in his sometimes lyric commentary and connecting links, that touch of love and
insight which is the real heart of the matter. The text is well illustrated
with old photographs and even poems, which add their own reality.
Compiling such a book presents problems in chronological sequence.
There are also difficulties in tying together assorted material from various
sources. The author has done a creditable job of setting it down, odd bits
and pieces and all. All have a place here. Who knows what further information
may accrue to these from his readers? This is a beginning.
Ketha Adams.
Mrs Adams is a member of the Alberni & District Historical Society. 15
Text of an address given at the banquet of the Annual Convention of the
British Columbia Historical Association on 29th May, 1971 by Dr Charles
Humphries, Department of History, University of British Columbia.
On the afternoon of Friday, May 7, 1915, the Cunard liner.Lusitania,
entering St. George's Channel and heading for Liverpool, was hit and sunk
by a torpedo fired from a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale on
the southern Irish coast. The anger and shock created by this act of war
swept around the world; and, on the allied side, produced fierce'words
of denunciation which made much of the fact that there had been no warning given to the 2,000 passengers and crew, three-fifths of whom perished
in the disaster. Tho German response to this charge was that general
warnings had been issued about the dangers implicit in passenger travel
in the face of Germany's decision to embark on a policy of unrestricted
submarine warfare in the war zone around Great Britain, in order to
strangle that nation's war effort. But this German defence was destroyed
or ignored by counter-arguments. There was an admission that much of the
Lusitanja's cargo was war material, but no one regarded this as a justifiable reason for the German action.
."'  ■ .'■■   .
The following day, Saturday May 8, the Victoria Daily Colonist
devoted three editorials to the tragedy as it addressed a citizenry
already made nervous by rumours of German spies and fears that submarines
might cut the sea-link with the mainland. In one, entitled "Murder
Most Foul", the writer observed:
It never entered the mind of men, outside of Germany, that
anyone could have been found willing to perpetrate so dreadful
a crime. That humanity could sink to so infamous a level that
a man, even though he were acting under orders, could commit
such a deed seemed, unthinkable, and accustomed as we had become
to German atrocities, no one was able to believe that- the rulers
of the land would require such a crime of their subordinates.
We have been told that in Germany civilization had reached its
highest consummation. If this is true, give us barbarism and
all that it implies.1
In another editorial, "Fruits of Kultur", the same paper listed twenty
types of atrocities committed by the Germans to that tirre in the conflict,
all the products of German militarism.  The final editorial concluded
that, "the man or men responsible for what may be called the crowning
murder of the ages are those who clothed the officer of the submarine
with authority to commit it".^
The Victorian words expressed in print did not differ greatly from
those in other Canadian newspapers of the day; but the people of Victoria
responded to the German action on the high seas in a manner that set the
capital of British Columbia apart from every other Canadian municipality;
because, on the nights of Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9,' they participated in what can best be described as the Lusitania riot. The
1. Daily Colonist (Victoria, B.C.) Saturday, May 8, 1915, p.4. "
2. Ibid
3. Ibid 16
uniqueness of this riot in terms of Canadian history - there were anti-
German riots in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Greenock, Cape Town,
Johannesburg and Melbourne - makes it an interesting subject for examination; but, beyond a mere recital of the events of those two evenings,
there is a need to look at the conduct of civil the face of a
traumatic wartime occurrence, and offer a few possible explanations of the
The course of the two-night riot is reasonably easy to trace,
thanks in large measure to detailed reporting of events by a reporter for
the Daily Colonist. The first signs of trouble began on the evening of
Saturday, May 8, in the bar of the Blanshard Hotel, previously named the
Kaiserhof and frequently referred to by its earlier German name (currently
it is the Kent Apartment Hotel, located on the southwest corner of Blanshard
and Johnson Streets). At the Blanshard, a totally unfounded rumour, to
the effect that some local Victorians of German birth had gathered to
celebrate the sinking of the Lusitania, caused a noisy soldier-led crowd -
about 150 in number - to demand that the bartender produce a Union Jack.
Fuelled by the beverages of the bar,.the rowdy assemblage loudly sang
.patriotic airs and attempted to remove, a few German inscriptions from
the walls. Two Union Jacks were strung to the flag staff by three-
soldiers; this was followed by the-smashing of one of the barTs plate
glass windows. In the meantime the crowd was swelled by the naturally
curious; who. were downtown for Saturday night.
The cry then went up "to the German Club", whose premises had
gone unused since shortly after the outbreak of the war. Picking up
people on route, the crowd - now more civilian than military and numbering
close to 300 - raced to that location, on the west side of Government
Street, just north of Courtney (the club was located above the Burns and
Company butcher shop at 902 Government Street; to-day the property below
is occupied by The Antique Gallery). Tho mob demolished the premises,
after breaking down the door. Smaller items, such as pictures and a cash
register, were hurled into the street below; larger items, that could not
be forced through the broken windows, were, smashed into pieces and then
thrown out.
In full heat, the rioters were urged by an anonymous voice to
head back to the Kaiserhof or Blanshard. Their ret urn route was by way
of the police station in order to release a sailor who had supposedly been
arrested; there was no such prisoner. Resuming its march, with portraits
of George V at the head, the mob arrived at the Blanshard. There, nearly
500 rioters took the hotel apart, while a crowd estimated at between
2,000 and 3,000 watched the destruction - almost urbanely. The remaining
windows of the bar were shattered; glassware was-hurled to the floor; .
lighting fixtures were broken; furniture.was thrown down stairways; and
bedding was hurled out of upper floor windows.
By the time of the second visit to the Blanshard Hotel, all
off-duty policemen had been called in to augment the normal Saturday"
night strength, but they could do little with a mob of these proportions.
And the initial small group.of soldiers, sent into town from the camp at
the Willows to.curb the military element in the crowd, had little impact.
The fire-chief, Thomas Davis, refused to use his "equipm"ent""tO'. cool out
the rioters - despite the appeals of one officer present - because he
feared the ugly crowd would only hack up his hoses  He took "the position 17
that it was the responsibility of police and military authorities to
quell the riot.
Almost bored with the sameness of the chore of wrecking the
Blanshard, the mob turned elsewhere for fresh excitement and headed for
the wholesale grocery premises of Simon Leiser and Company on Lower
Yates Street (in the 500 block). Leiser and Company's windows were soon
shattered and the first significant looting of the night occurred when
men, women and adolescents carried off fruit, cigars, tobaccos and pipes.
The rioters then turned to the wholesale dry goods business of Moses
Lenz, directly across the street, and there the looting took the form of
blankets and bolts of cloth. Policemen stood by in a state of inaction
p roduced by numerical inferiority and sheer consternation. Meanwhile,
a small gang of rioters broke away from the main body and looted the
wholesale tobacconist business of Carl Lowenberg in the 1200 block
Wharf Street. Lowenberg, the former German consul in Victoria, had
departed the city in May of 1914, to return to Germany.
By this time repeated requests had been made of the military
at the Willows to provide more men in order to quell the disturbance;
delay in response by the military was undoubtedly caused by the unsureness
of the officers as to their position in the face of a domestic riot
which x\Tas obviously beyond the control of the civil authorities. Finally,
around midnight - about four hours after the trouble had begun - more
soldiers arrived in town, just in time to prevent serious damage being
done to the wholesale wine and liquor business of Luke Pither and Max
Leiser, in the 1000 block Wharf Street. The soldiers' presence also
halted further looting at the already damaged business premises and terminated Victoria's first night of wildness. At 1.30 a.m., an additional
150 soldiers, fully armed, arrived in town to take up guard duty at
various points. The Lusitania riot was, seemingly, over.
Sunday was filled with consultations by the civil and military
authorities, largely because of persistent rumours that other businesses
with German names and real or imagined German connections were still to
feel tho punishing wrath of an organized mob. The sources of these
accurate rumours were never pinpointed; nor were the leaders of this plot
ever named. The Board of License Commissioners hastily decided to close
the licensed premises of Victoria for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,
thus stopping the flow of liquor from every source.-^ All police were
placed on duty as Sunday proceeded; and all soldiers were ordered back
to camp off leave.
The conferences between civil and military authorities resulted
in squads of soldiers being marched into Victoria from the Willows, just
after 7 p.m. But trouble had begun before the troops could be stationed.
The Phoenix Brewing Company was the initial target and, before the police
could make their presence felt, entry had been gained to the establishment
from Government Street, windows had been broken, wagons had been pulled
on to the street, and beer bottles had been smashed inside the building.
4„ Much of the material on this night of rioting and looting comes
from a detailed account in the Daily Colonist for Sunday, May 9, '
1915, P.2.
5- Daily Colonist Tuesday, May 11, 1915, p.3. 18
The rejuvenated and growing mob then turned south, heading for the
New England Hotel on the west side of Government Street between Johnson
and Yates Streets, Word evidently reached the crowd, however, that a
guard had been placed in front of the hotel. Thus warned, the mob headed
for the corner of Douglas and Fort Streets and menaced the jewellery store
of Max Kilburger. A combination of police and soldiers turned these
people aside, but only after a window had been smashed. And the soldiers
found it increasingly difficult to clear the streets which were jammed
with more spectators than rioters.
The authorities apparently then felt that they had matters under
control, but the rioters split into groups and. commenced marauding in
different-areas, The tailoring establishment of Ernest Schaper and Wesley
Glass, at 721 Fort Street, had its windows broken, and bolts of cloth and
hats soon disappeared into grasping hands. The Bonnet Shop - close by
the premises of Schaper and Glass - was looted, apparently under the .
mistaken impression that it was part of the tailors' shop; and women were
most certainly present to share in this loot. The CF. Pairt Company was
unfortunately located next to the Bonnet Shop; its windows were shattered
and its- stock dumped on the floor. At the same time, the clothes-cleaning
business of Isaac Herman and Thomas Stringer, at 848 Yates Street,
suffered broken windows and a sacking.
Unne.-ved by these developments which indicated that control was not
established, Mayor Alex. Stewart - accompanied by the officer commanding
the troops. Colonel Ogilvie, and the police chief, John Langley - made
his way by car to the New England Hotel, where he read the Riot Act.
While the mayor intoned the emergency measure, a volley of stones struck
the walls and windows of the hotel; and a segment of the crowd gathered
there began singing "Rule Britannia" and other patriotic numbers. Following this, the troops in the city - now numbering over four hundred mounted
men and infantry - combined with the police to disperse the crowds in an
effective manner.
■Still, small acts of violence occurred. In the downtown section, a
small group threw stones at the boarded-up windows of Simon Leiser and
Company, which had been looted on the previous night; and took another run
at the firm of Pither and Leiser, only to be  turned aside by troops. The
plumbing business of E.F. Geiger, at 828 Fisgard Street, was attacked
and its windows broken and plumbing fixtures destroyed. Windows were also
broken in the Chinese quarter. On the outskirts of town, a small mob
did damage to the confectionary factory of Popham Brothers on Russell
Street in Victoria West; the excuse offered for this latter exercise was
the incorrect belief that Simon Leiser still had a financial interest in
the business. Then, as the troops increasingly made their presence known
and felt, the Lusitania riot finally sputtered to an end.
The toll of property damage was high. The Blanshard Hotel losses
were estimated at between ten and fifteen thousand dollars; Simon Leiser
claimed to be out thirty thousand dollars; Moses Lenz declared that he had
suffered to the extent of • somewhere between ten and fifteen thousand ..
dollars; damage done to Carl Lowenberg's business premises stood at a
figure close to ten thousand dollars; the Phoenix Brewing Company placed
The bulk of the information on the Sunday night of rioting, comes from
the Daily Colonist for Tuesday, May 11, 1915, p.5. 19
its losses at between fifteen hundred and two thousand dollars; Herman
and Stringer estimated damages in the amount of fifteen hundred dollars;
. and stating losses of a thousand dollars or less each were Schaper and
Glass, the German Club premises, Pither and Leiser, Popham Brothers,
E,F. GeigBr, Max Kilburger, the Bonnet Shop and. the CF. Paint Company.
In sum, approximately seventy-five thousand dollars in property damage
was the consequence of the two nights of rioting and looting, with the
largest portion of that figure having to be assessed against the
activities of tho mob on Saturday night.'
But the damage went well beyond the bounds of being simply associated with property; there was damage in other forms. In the days
immediately after the riot, business after business took pains to
advertise to the effect that it was owned by no one of enemy alien
extraction, or that it had no German or Austrian labour, or that it was
operated entirely by Canadians or British.0. A number of these advertisements were run more than once. It became necessary for Government
House to announce that no function had been held there on the date of the
German Emperor's birthday, and that no Germans or Austrians were employed
there." Possibly the fact that the Lieutenant-Governor's wife belonged
to a Victorian family of German origin produced the baseless rumours
which then had to be given cognizance by srirtue of a Government House
It was pointed out that Simon Leiser, although born in Prussia,
became a naturalized citizen in Victoria in 1892; that other stockholders in his company included the Hon. T.W. Paterson and the Hon. James
Dunsmuir; and that all stockholders, save Leiser, were British or Canadian born. Moses Lenz, an American citizen, had lived in Victoria for
forty-two years. Michael Young, owner of the New England Hotel, was
born in Bavaria, but arrived in Victoria in 1871 and had been a naturalized? citizen for nearly forty years. The plumber, E.F. Geiger, was
a native Victorian. Isaac Herman, co-owner of the clothes-cleaning
establishment, was Russian-born and a naturalized citizen; his partner,
Thomas Stringer, was a Canadian,. of:'BrdtishVparentage, • Ernes t-Schaper ,-• • .
th?> tailbr, had lived" in 3 Vic tor la i*or twenty-seven years, and had been
a naturalized citizen for much of that time. His partner, W. Wesley
Glass, who had arrived in Victoria from Toronto some four years before,
was of Irish-American parentage. Frederick Kostenbader, proprietor ^
of the Blanshard Hotel, was German-born, but a naturalized citizen.
And so it went.
There was another variety of damage. On Wednesday, three days
after the riot, the Daily Colonist reported:
As a result of the recent disturbances a number of German born
residents of the city departed on Monday for Seattle, among them
several who had been employed here but who had been dismissed by
firms who feared that their continued employment might result in
damage to the premises in which they worked.11 >
7,    Ibid.
8«_ Daily Colonist Tuesday", May 11. 1915, pp.'2*3,4,5,6,,and 7;'
Wednesday; May jr2, "1915• 'pp. 2 and 4-. •- "f '""
9. Daily Colonist, Wednesday, May 12, 1915,'p.4^
10, Ibid. Tuesday, May 11, 1915,p.5
11, Ibid, Wednesday, May 12, 1915, p.3. 20
Yet, despite this development and the obvious feeling by some
businesses that it was essential to advertise their loyalty - as if a
witch-hunt was in progress - the Colonist, undoubtedly like many citizens,
treated the whole affair, if not with a touch of lightness, at least with
the view that the riot had been a wild aberration on the part of a normally
well-behaved citizenry. In support of this judgment, note the tone of
the following appeal:
It is to be noted in passing that a great deal of the disorder
of Saturday night and a greater proportion of that of Sunday night
was due to youths and young men, who, while ordinarily well enough
behaved were, for the time being, forgetful of what they owe to
themselves and the community in which they live. They may regard
themselves as fortunate to have escaped very serious consequences
for their folly.12
Or, again:
If any/ persons are in possession of goods which, in the exoitoment
of Saturday and Sunday nights were carried away from stores in the
city, we are very sure they will only need to be reminded of their
duty to see they are returned to the owners forthwith. There is
something contagious in the action of crowds, and all those individuals
who were led away by what others were doing ought to avail themselves
of the first opportunity to remedy this mistake. jJ
The impression given of the riot is that of an unaccountable deviation or
a temporary and inexplicable infection; the town was seeking to forget
quickly those nights of rioting and looting.
Yet this is not a very satisfactory answer and we are still left to
ask: why the riots and why was Victoria the only municipality in Canada
to react in such a way to the sinking of the Lusitania? One can, of
course, combine rumour with alcohol and the British composition of Victoria,
adding the shock of the sinking of the Lusitania, and suggest that these
are the ingredients of the riot. It cannot be denied that Victoria was
British; a look at the census figures for 1911 certainly confirms this.
At that time, of a total population of 31,660, 25,017 were classified as
British born (including J.2,966 who were born in Canada). Only 222 residents
of Victoria then were born in Germany, and but 22 in Austria-Hungary.
Or, by using another category - that created by tracing descent through
male parentage - it can be senn that only 6l9 Victoria residents were of
German background, regardless of where they were born.1-' One cannot ignore
either the fact of small quantities of unsubstantiated rumour and large
quantities of liquor and beer as parts of the background to the riot.
But one must probe a little deeper to offer an adequate explanation
of what occurred in Victoria. And a few generalizations can help to lead
12. Ibid. Tuesday, May 11, 1915, P«4.
13. Ibid.
1.4.    Fifth Census of Canada,  1911, II: Religions,  origins, birthplace,
citizenship, literacy and infirmities, by Provinces, districts and
sub-districts (Ottawa, King's Printer, 1913) p.428.
15.    Ibid, p.373. 21
in this direction. If a nation is to wage a war successfully, it is
essential not only that the military play its appointed role in good
fashion; but it is also essential that civil society play its role in
similar fashion. This means that the vast majority of civil society
must support the war totally and without question. In the interests of
successful prosecution of the war, dissent must be confined or suppressed.
Questions and dissension will only serve to weaken civil society's will
to battle; and this will ultimately have its effect upon the military.
Questions and dissent will only serve to take the edge off what must
be enthusiasm for the conflict.
Enthusiasm for war can be engendered in several ways. To do this,
the conflict must be portrayed in terms that are both simple and emotional:
good versus evil; democracy versus totalitarianism; humanity versus
inhumanity; right versus wrong. ■ Engendering enthusiasm leaves no room
for shades of gray; the colours with appeal must be clear, as clear and
obvious as black and white. And patriotism thus comes to play its part;
the actions of the individual or the community become tests for patriotism. , Love of country or mother country or empire is demanded; and the
individual or the community must visibly demonstrate this love. There
is another side to patriotism, however, and that is hatred of the enemy -
and this too must be displayed. During the First World War the
citizens of Canada were not only called upon to support this country and
Britain in their test with the forces of wickedness; there was also a
clear call to hate Germany and'things German, be they German names,
German music or real or imagined German ideals. These were the two
sides of patriotism - that most essential ingredient of enthusiasm for
conflict - on the one side, love of country; and, on the other, hatred
of the enemy. By May of 1915» both faces of patriotism could be seen
in Victoria.
Then thsre is the matter of Victoria's geographical location.
This most British city was also the Canadian one most distant from the
field of conflict. For a city like Halifax, the war was simply across
the Atlantic; but for Victoria, the war was nearly half a world away.
Thus, for Victoria - particularly in the light of its British background -
it was most essential that it demonstrate its participation in the conflict, that it be most patriotic, that it be more venomous on the subject
of Germany; as if intensity of feeling could somehow compensate for
distance from battle.
This accounts for some of the feelings of the civilian population,
but it can also be applied to the military. Based at the Willows were
ready volunteers itching for battle; there seems to be little doubt
that distance from'and waiting for combat compounded to produce soldiers
who were'willing to scrap, even if it took the form of a riot directed
against business premises with German names in Vietoria.
There is another matter that should be cleared away in attempting
to search for clues to the causes of the riot. A number of persons who
had their businesses attacked werei of the Jewish faith. And so it is
not. unreasonable to ask if there was, burled uTELeT?~'the anti-German feeling, any anti-semitism. After all, evidence has been cited to indicate
that, under' cover of the riot, some people took the opportunity provided
to direct some violence at the Chinese community in Victoria. The riot 22
provided the excuse for a modest display of anti-orientalism. Did it also
provide an excuse for a show of anti-semitism?
The answer would seem to be that there was no awareness on the part
of the rioters and looters that they were directing their energies, not
only against people with Germ an-sounding names, but, in some cases,
against Jews. The chief evidence for this conclusion is circumstantial,
but is is rather convincing. One of the storm centres of the riot on
Saturday night was the Blanshard or Kaiserhof Hotel, on the southwest
corner of Blanshard and Johnson Streets. Just a block away stood - and
still stands - the synagogue of the Jewish residents of Victoria,
Congregation Emanu-El, on the southeast corner of Pandora and Blanshard,
Streets. The synagogue was quite visible - and still is, for that matter -
from the Blanshard Hotel. Had any leaders of the mob, particularly after
the second visit to the Blanshard Hotel, really had an anti-semitic demonstration in their mindlessness, they had but to urge the mob to march one
short block north. This was not done, however, and considering the
distances that the rioters travelled on that Saturday night, one short
block would have provided no obstacle to destruction. Beyond this, there
is na mention of the synagogue as being one of the buildings afforded ;
protection in the uneasy but relatively quiet nights that followed the
riot- Again, had such action against the synagogue been feared, the
authorities would undoubtedly have provided for its protection.
The whole affair nevertheless produced some reaction amongst
members of the Jewish community, probably because a number of them had
suffered at the hands of the rioters and looters. The rabbi of the day
decided, on the basis of "advice from outsiders", to call a halt to religious classes shortly after tho riot occurred.   Who these "outsiders"
were is unknown, but one wonders if they and the rabbi feared that
instruction in a foreign tongue might be confused with instruction in
German; and that would be a confusion which no one would want after the
riot. The riot itself, however, does not appear to have had any visible
traces of anti-semitism.
But, if the riot in no way rested on anti-semitism, it did rest on
an uncomplicated view of the First World War, enthusiasm for the conflict,
frequent tests of patriotism, hatred, of the Germans, Victoria's geographical
location, and the relative inactivity of the soldiers camped at the
Willows. These were the primary ingredients making for the riot, to which
were added the sinking of the Lusitania, totally unsubstantiated rumours,
Victoria's British composition and too much beer and liquor.
A few final observations can be drawn from the story of the riot.
It is interesting to note how a riot of anger and destruction - that was
its initial shape at the Blanshard Hotel and the German Club - soon turned -•
into a riot of looting, with theft giving shape to it during the latter
part of Saturday night. It is also worth noting how the cover of the riot
gave some the opportunity to vent their feelings towards a minority group
that was disliked but which had absolutely no connection with the sinking
of the Lusitania; the Chinese.
1.6. Public Archives of British Columbia, Records of the Congregation
r Emanu-El (Victoria, B.C.) Minute Book 3, 1900-22, p.155, entry for
the committee meeting of June 13, 1915* (on microfilm) 23
Despite the statements by authorities that the police had the names
of a considerable number of people who had participated in the looting
of the Leiser and Lenz business premises, and that such people would be
prosecuted unless these goods were returned immediately;^? two facts
deserve comment. Relatively small amounts of loot were returned,1"
occasionally by devious means; the largest -part of the loot never did
appear.*9 Secondly, thero is evidence to indicate that, in prosecuting
those found with stolen goods, the authorities pursued rather vigorously
those persons who could be classified as characters already known to the
police, and left the bulk of Victoria's society alone, including the
women who had participated in the looting. If the police did possess the
names of those who had participated in the wholesale thievery -as they
repeatedly said they did - then one must conclude that the prosecutions
.were pursued in limp fashion. Although a cross-section of Victorian
' society participated in the rioting and looting, a cross-section of
Victorian society was not prosecuted. One wonders if various forms of
social pressure tipped the scales of justice in this matter.
The entire episode, from the sinking of the Lusitania to the end
of the riot, seems to have intensified demands that the federal government take action in the matter of interning enemy aliens; that such
demands flowed logically from these events was not argued at all. In
the light of the riot, possibly the safest place for enemy aliens was
in internment camps.
The Victoria Social Service Commission took the occasion to commend
the authorities for closing all outlets of alcohol: and expressed the
hope that the period of drought would be extended. ! So, undoubtedly
the riot gave the temperance forces, then gathering throughout Canada
under the banner of patriotism, an excellent example to cite in their
demands for prohibition. But the request for an extension of the three-
day period of closure was denied and the licensed premises were open on
the Thursday following the riot, although they did close early on the
next Saturday night.
The riot was soon pushed to tho rear or sub-conscious of Victoria's
mind, hastened undoubtedly by an understandable desire to be rid of the
episode. And hastened, too, by attitudes like those of an advertiser
who, in seeking to promote his product, was not beyond an attempt at
humour based on the events of Saturday and Sunday nights. "The Riot
Act," the ad. ran, "is never read in Victoria households where ladies
use White SWan Cleanserr,v^ The shock of the riot Was already wearing
17. Daily Colonist, Tuesday, May 11, 1915, P«3; Wednesday, May 12,
1915, P.3.
18. Ibid. Wednesday, May 12 1915, P»3; Thursday, May 13, 1915, P«5-
19. Ibid. Friday, May 1.4, 1915, p.7.
20. Ibid., p.4.
21. Ibid., Tuesday, toy 11, 1915, p.7.
22. Ibid., Friday, May 1.4, 1915, P«7.
23. Ibid., Tuesday, May 11, 1915, P«7. THE VANCOUVER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
SWEDISH COMMUNITY IN VANCOUVER. By Irene Howard. 1970 ($6.50)
Occasional paper No. 2.  SCHOOLS OF OLD VANCOUVER. Edited by James
Sandison.  1971 ($4.50, In paperback $2.50)
Occasional paper No. 3.  SHAKESPEARE IN VANCOUVER, 1889-1918. By
Shiela Roberts. 1971 ($4.00)
And to be published soon:
Edited by James Sandison. 1972.
Occasional paper No. 5. OUR NATIVE PEOPLES ONCE OBSERVED. Edited
by Grace Simpkins. 1972.
The first three Occasional Papers are available at your local bookstore or directly from the Publishing Committee, Vancouver Historical
Society, Box 3071, Vancouver, B.C. Residents please add 5% sales
tax. Members of the Vancouver Historical Society are entitled to a
■25% discount.


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